Antarctica Adventure - 2002

The volcanic black sand beach is very large both in length and width. The backdrop for the bay and the beach consists of the rest of the caldera wall which is probably 500 feet tall. The beach was littered with evidence of the killing ground this place once was whale ribs, vertebrae, femurs, etc. The resilience of nature is also demonstrated here by the presence of fur seals, chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, and seabirds of various kinds. However, this spot is not a rookery for penguins or other birds and no one reports seeing whales enter Port Foster. As remembrances of human activities here, there are tumbledown sheds, a skeleton airplane hangar and the red fuselage of a 1940 vintage aircraft. Piles of barrel staves, which we at first took for whale ribs, were actually the supplies to build the receptacles for the whale oil to be shipped from this station. The whale oil tanks and the rendering furnaces stood rusting on the beach, harshly bloody against the blue sky we were enjoying. There were old wooden whaleboats lying about as well, some upright and others tipped over - all weathered into a silvery patina that was almost beautiful but definitely picturesque.


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